Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Upside of Plastic Carry Out Bags

The plastic carry out bag has been given a bad rap because of misinformation. With the internet the propagation of bad information or myths are almost impossible to stop. For example, the plastic carry out bag is widely believed to have caused the death of 100,000 marine mammals and a million seabirds as a result of ingesting plastic bags. However, the allegation is untrue and was based on a Canadian study that stated the deaths were a result from discarded fishing nets and fishing tackle and not plastic bags or plastic debris as reported in an article published in The Times of London on March 8, 2008 entitled “Series of blunders turned the plastic bag into global villain”.
Proponents of banning the plastic carry out bag have further demonized it by calling it a “single-use” plastic bag as part of a propaganda campaign. The real “single-use” bag is the plastic trash bag. Once the trash bag is used for its primary purpose to hold trash, it is never reused for any other purpose. The plastic carry out bag, on the other hand, once used for its primary purpose to carry purchases home, has a large number of secondary uses. Hence, this bag is really a multi-use bag. The reusable bag is also a multi-use bag but more durable. To call the plastic carry out bag a “single-use bag” is intellectually dishonest. Continue reading The Upside of Plastic Carry Out Bags

Plastic Carry-Out Bag Ban – More Plastic Headed To Landfill

One of the unintended consequences of banning plastic carry out bags is that more plastic will be headed to the landfill the exact opposite of what proponents of the plastic carry out bag ban want.
California state law (AB 2449) requires retail stores that issue plastic carry out bags at the checkout counter must have a recycling container in or outside each store. This recycling container not only accepts plastic carry out bags, but also other plastic bags and shrink wrap. These include produce bags, dry-cleaning bags, bread bags, newspaper bags and shrink wraps from paper towels, bathroom tissue, napkins, and diapers. Continue reading Plastic Carry-Out Bag Ban – More Plastic Headed To Landfill

The Downside of Reusable Shopping Bags

Many people have been misled to think that using a reusable shopping bag is an environmentally friendly solution to using plastic bags.  Proponents of plastic bag bans, like the proverbial used car salesman, point out the advantages of the reusable bag and never talk about the disadvantages.  For example, they will never tell you about the health hazards associated with the reusable bag.

First, reusable bags can become contaminated by meat juices, moisture, and traces of nutrients from food items and become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, yeast, mold, and coliforms including E. Coli.  Bacteria are known to increase by 10-fold if bags are stored in the trunk for as little as two hours.  Bacteria can be transferred to packaged food items during the transport home, and ultimately to your hands and to your mouth when packages are opened and food items are ingested. Continue reading The Downside of Reusable Shopping Bags